Funeral services with military honors for William R. (Bill) Durrant, 87, Lawrence, will be at 10 am Monday, June 23, 2014, at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery. Mr. Durrant died Tuesday, June 17, 2014, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
He was born July 6, 1926, in Chicago, IL, the son of William Charles and Irene Florence Atwood Durrant. He graduated from Calumet High School in Chicago, in 1944. He later attended the University of Kansas for some business classes.
Mr. Durrant served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and worked for the University of Kansas in their Police and Parking Department for 23 years and retired in Nov. 1988. After retirement he worked at Dillon’s on Mass. He was a member of the Alford-Clarke VFW Post #852, and was a lifetime member of the Fraternal Order of Police Lawrence Lodge # 2.
Bill married Marjorie Thompson in 1953. They later divorced. He married Donna Cook Channel Durrant in 1978. She survives of the home.
Other survivors include two daughters, Denise Gilges, Baldwin City, KS, Christa and husband Thomas Schram, Bonner Springs, KS; two step daughters, Yvonne and husband Dominic Palermo, Lawrence, KS, and Charmaine and husband Raymond Messick, Garnett, KS; twelve grandchildren, Jason Gilges (Heather), Wellsville, KS, Amanda Gilges, Kansas City, MO, Dustin Gilges (Jessica), Bradford, IL, Lauren Brazzle (Luke), Wamego, KS, Troy Gilges, Columbus, IN, Jacqueline Thyer (Mike), Arcadia, KS, Justin Messick, Garnett, KS, Brian Johnson, NC, Mark Johnson, Alexandria, VA, Michael Schram, Baldwin City, Jason (Kathleen) Schram, Bonner Springs, Blake Schram, Lenexa; one sister Alberta and the late Dr. Tom Parry, Washington, KS;
Friends may call from noon to 8 pm Saturday at the funeral home. A visitation will be from 1-2 pm Sunday.
The family suggests memorials made to Fraternal Order of Police, sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana St., Lawrence, KS 66044.
Messages & Condolences
I have always called him “Sgt. Willy” or “Sgt. Will”. Back in the mid-70s when I was working for Douglas County SO, I would stop and visit with Will on my way home. Half of my family worked at KU and he was a friend of my mother’s as well. Good friend and confidante and I loved the times after I went to work for the Patrol and came home on weekends, stopping by occasionally to spend time with Will and Donna just catching up. Loved getting those “Banana Boat” reports from him … such a wonderful person and I will miss those Christmas letters dearly. God bless you and Godspeed …
My thoughts and prayers go out to family and friends William was a very nice man.
To friends & family, I’m sorry for your loss. I worked with Bill 1979-81, when I was a dispatcher at KUPD. He stands out in my mind as a very kind gentleman — fair, genuine, and honorable. God bless.
So sorry for the loss of bill he was such a wonderful man always so happy and friendly when I saw him at dillions
The Lopez Family
Chris, Tom and family so sorry for your loss. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.
Denise and Family so sorry to hear of your loss.
Bill was a man I first met professionally many, many years ago. He always had a smile and a friendly greeting. Our conversations were always injected with his subtle humor, which I enjoyed. I will remember him as a friend, a fellow police officer, and one of God’s chosen nice guys!
Bill Durrant was a very special man in my life, many years ago. A savior of sorts. He was one of the kindest men I have ever known. He will be missed by many. Godspeed, Bill.
So sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. I worked with Bill at Dillon’s on Mass. for years. He was such a fun man to have around. Always a smile on his face. Loved hearing some of the stories he had to share.
Bill you are going to be missed by many. RIP my friend.
so sorry to hear bout bill I was just thinking bout him yesterday. god bless robyn herzog
Denise, and families, I am sorry to hear about your loss. May God comfort you.
I worked with Bill on Mass. St Dillion’s , was agreat guy to work with. Thoughts and prayers to the family!
Bill was my first Sergeant way back in 1980. He had a great attitude and always stressed the importance of being fair to everyone we contacted, no matter what the case. He was fun to work with, had an easy going manner and always stood up for his people. He will be missed.
Bill, myself and one other KU officer joined the FOP at the same time. We worked midnights together and he was my sergeant for a time. There were 2 things I most remember about Bill.
We were riding together for long hours during some of the unrest in the early 1970’s. One night Bill said when he graduated from high school he joined the Navy with a friend. They intended to serve together, but were split up after basic. In 1945 his ship was rescuing the survivors of a ship hit by a Japanese bomber in the Pacific (March 1945 – approx. 60 miles off the Japan coast). One of the people he pulled from the water was his friend that he had not seen in a year. While he was commenting on the “small world” situation, I told him my father was on the ship that was hit; the aircraft carrier USS Benjamin Franklin.
Very early on a Saturday morning, we were setting up barricades for a football game. Bill was at the Chi Omega Fountain when a Buick pulled up and a very tall individual got out and asked Bill where Meadowbrook Apartments were. Bill barely came up to his waist. The individual was Wilt Chamberlain. This was a visit to a friend that was never acknowledged; resulting in the story that Wilt only came back once for the award program.
Bill will be missed.
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